Sand Martins (Riparia riparia) are so named because they nest in sandy river banks or sandy coastal cliffs – the scientific name Riparia, means “riverbank.” The species originally nested in the steep, sandy banks of rivers but have adapted to using many different man-made excavations. Agile fliers, feeding mainly over water, they will perch on overhead wires or branches. It is a small swallow with brown upperparts, and a brown breast band separating white underparts from white throat and chin. They breed in the UK, and winter in the Sahel region of Africa, some 3000 miles away. Most pairs in breeding colonies lay their eggs at the same time so they will be feeding nestlings at the same time. This means there will be a large number of adults searching for swarms of insects, which makes it more likely they will find them.